So you’ve finally got your hands on a pizza stone after much debating which one to get and where to get it. Now the next step is to learn how to cook with a pizza stone. With baking being a precise process, you can assume that the use of this cooking tool is the same. If you want to get the best results out of these items, you should know how to take full advantage of them.
To help you do just that, here’s a thorough guide on how you should use a pizza stone to create pizzeria-grade pies.
A Step-by-Step Guide How to Cook with a Pizza Stone
1. Prepare Your Dough
If you really want a seriously amazing pizza, you will want to make your dough from scratch. This will take some time as you will need to let the dough rise. Kneading and shaping the dough also takes a lot of time.
Some folks also like to prepare their dough a few days in advance. This allows it to ferment, giving it a nice and unique flavor. If you intend to do this, you need to plan in advance and be patient.
Of course, if you don’t know how to do so yet, you can also opt to just buy a pre-made product at the supermarket. Some frozen doughs are decent enough for gourmet dishes so you can also easily opt for such.
2. Grab Your Ingredients
Once your dough has nicely risen or fermented, you can already start your pizza-making process. However, before you fire up the oven or grill, make sure that you already have everything you need to make your pizza.
This way, you won’t have to leave your cooking equipment running in case you need to run out to grab an ingredient. Once you do, grab them all and have them ready on hand to make the cooking preparation easier.
3. Preheat Your Oven or Grill and Pizza Stone
Now that you’re completely ready to make your pizza, fire up your oven or grill with the pizza stone inside. Crank it up to the highest temperature setting and leave it on for an hour.
This can be the most challenging part of cooking with a pizza stone for most people as it requires a good deal of planning ahead. Especially if you already have the ingredients on standby, not everyone can plan their meals an hour before they get hungry.
But please bear with us. It’s very important to preheat your pizza stone to get the best results. Doing this can make a world of difference to how well your pies will turn out to be. Crispy and chewy crusts can only be achieved by preheating your stone as it helps retain and provide more cooking heat to your dough. So if you really want to make the most out of your pizza stone, you shouldn’t skip this step.
4. Start Making Your Pizza
While your pizza stone is being preheated, you can already start working on your pizza recipe. Divide your dough to create the crust size of your choice then flatten it up according to your preferred shape. Whether you’re using a round, square, or rectangular pizza stone, you can still shape your dough whichever way you prefer. Differing stone and dough shapes might, however, limit the size of your pizza, so consider that as well.
Once your dough is ready, start filling it up with toppings. You can always follow recipes or create your own. Whichever floats your boat, really.
If you’ve opted for a frozen pizza, thaw it out first. Placing a frozen pizza on a hot pizza stone will cause the latter to break, so to avoid this scenario, let the frozen dish sit out until it thaws out.
5. Check Your Stone if It’s Good to Go
After an hour of preheating, check the temperature inside your oven or grill to see whether it’s ready for some baking. Your pizza stone should be significantly hotter than the oven to ensure that it’s good to go. Choosing a pizza stone for a gas grill might make the whole process a lot easier for the first-time mover of using pizza steel.
6. Place Your Pizza on the Stone
Once your oven or grill has reached its desired temperature, you’re all set to get some baking done. Using a peel or any other tool that will help you slide the pizza into the baking stone, place your uncooked pizza on top of the pizza stone.
7. Bake Your Pizza
Close the oven door or grill lid and start baking your pizza. You will only have a few minutes before your dish is done, so you might want to keep an eye on it. Once the dough starts to brown, get ready to take it out.
Depending on your pizza stone, you can either take out the pizza alone by sliding it out using a peel or any flat surface or take out the entire stone with the pizza on it. Some pizza stones are beautiful enough to double duty as serving platters, so they really come in handy. They can even keep your pie warm even after a few minutes after serving making them extra useful.
If your pizza stone is too heavy to be taken out while hot or it’s just not suitable for serving, you can just leave it inside the oven until it cools down. You can also use it to cook other dishes or keep some food warm.
8. Cut, Serve, and Enjoy Your Delectable Homemade Pizza
The pizza will be extremely hot after it’s taken out of the oven so be careful when cutting it up, serving, and even gobbling your pizza up. You might also want to let it sit for a few minutes to let it cool down a bit before grabbing a slice or two.
With all the hype about these cooking tools, many would expect that there are lots of complications involved when learning how to cook with a pizza stone. However, as this guide will tell you, it’s actually a very easy process. The only major hurdle in the process is the preheating as it takes an hour to do and some people are too impatient to do it. If you want a crispy and delectable pizza, though, you should make sure to follow every step in this list.